A new dedication to the LORD.
“A little thing is a little thing. But faithfulness in a little thing is a great thing.” – Hudson Taylor.
Amen. I had come across this quote in James Fraser’s biography, “Mountain Rain.” James had used this phrase aptly at the position in which he was, here it continues:
“It has come home to me very forcibly of late that it matters little what the work is in which we are engaged: So long as God has put it into our hands, the faithful doing of it is of no greater importance in one case than in another…
It is all IF and WHEN. I believe the devil is fond of those conjunctions… I have today, to a limited extent, the opportunities to which he has been putting me off (not that I have always yielded to these temptations), but far from helping me to be faithful in the use of them, he now turns quite a different face. The plain truth is that the Scriptures never teach us to wait for opportunities of service, but to serve in just the things that lie next to our hands. ‘The Lord bids us work, watch and pray; but Satan suggests, wait until a good opportunity for working, watching and praying presents itself – and needless to say, this opportunity is always in the future… Since the things that lie in our immediate path have been ordered of God, who shall say that one kind of work is more important and sacred than another? I believe it is no more necessary to be faithful (one says it reverently) in preaching the Gospel than in washing up dishes in the scullery. I am no more doing the LORD’s work in giving the Word of God to the Chinese than you are, for example, in wrapping up a parcel to send to the tailor. It is not for us, in any case, to choose our work.
And if God has chosen it for us, hadn’t we better go straight ahead and do it, without waiting for anything greater, better or ‘nobler’?
We are to look forward with earnest expectation to the coming of the LORD.”
Walking together with the missionaries whom have gone before, through what is graciously left behind – their words and thoughts to our Father – is one of the things which keep me going even as I am here in Durham, away from my home.
The words of Isobel Kuhn in ‘By Searching’ had been one of great encouragement to the Christian soul in finding her footsteps being led by the Lord, and so also, as I begin this journey with James – I do very much love his descriptions of the hills and mountains of China! That aside, his spiritual one, beginning from Imperial College, here in London, the year 1906 – I find one in whom I have great admiration for, and marvel at the gracious God of Whom is the Source of his faith.
This same God, working in your life, working in mine.
I am beckoned, of most recent, to be faithful in the little things. Since the new academic term had started, it had seemed that God was calling me to something else, and yet not – I have since ceased to wonder, and decided to simply, as always,
“Do the next thing.”
If the opportunity comes, so I shall grasp it. These opportunities take shape in various forms and ways, often unexpected – in a little tea-room tucked away by the River Wear, on the couch of the home of another up the hill, or all the way in a semi-other-town altogether, kneading dumplings and caked in flour.
All through to yesterday’s very moving morning – where I had the chance to witness and indeed participate in the ministry of the Healing on the Streets here in Durham.
On a theological standpoint on things, I must confess that I find myself in some sort of a bind on the evangelical spectrum. To the Right and to the extreme Left (I must clarify, I do not, by using ‘Left’ mean anything oppositional, I use these pure for illustration’s sake), and having been raised in an environment where I had always tended, been ‘safe’ and so-called ‘guarded’ in the Right, I could not reconcile how yearnings to minister on the street, led by the Spirit (again, I use this as it is in a manner which still adheres to the earlier post on what it means to lead a Spirit-filled life, as earlier expounded), could fit ‘strictly’ within the Right, thus far a ship safe in its harbour.
I must also clarify that I do not in any way at the moment seek to hanker after a ‘radical’ life so described and so plaguing (I am caveating aplenty here! I am in no way disapproving of this), but I must say, Bluetree’s moving song ‘God in the City’ had been aptly suited to how I had been thinking about things as I am here in Durham. And I was finding it difficult, as I had been elsewhere, for how the hands of the church could extend much more farther, much more wider, much more extensively, to the poor (and lost) in spirit, simply put, “out there on the streets.”
I had since decided to be brave in exploration, as Aunty BK advises, it is precisely, these ‘fears of the unknown’ which must be explored, as much a personal pursuit as it is an academic endeavour, in order to conquer that fear and to trust that the hand of God shall lead me through.
I must admit, that I had been truly blessed with an amazing morning, serving on the HOTS (Healing on the Streets) team on a Saturday morning on the busy streets of Durham on Elvet Bridge.
It is strange, as Helen, my compatriot and indeed respected elderly sister-in-Christ, agreed. After an hour of prayer for the day ahead, and in tune with hearts which desire to bring people to the LORD through this outreach ministry, you go out into Durham and you simply view it differently. The same streets I travel along every morning as I journey to school, as I do my groceries… You see the streets differently after prayer. You see needs, whether outwardly visible or not, you see hurting people you see the Lost. And you desire so much for them to know the saving Love of Jesus Christ.
You see the streets, so differently.
I was amazed (and yet not, for God is an AMAZING God and He does wonderful, wonderful things) at the various sorts of people who would come up to us to enquire about what we were doing, and possibly stop for prayer. It was a blessing to be able to pray with and for people. It had been a very Spirit-led outreach, blessed with meaningful conversations in between with Ann, Ivy, Helen, Paul and very mostly Peter, a pastor, and the morning, which ended at about quarter to 1, had left me walking home feeling incredibly amazed and excited at what God has planned ahead.
I cannot and am unable to find the words to describe.
I opened “Mountain Rain”, and continued reading.
The LORD has His plans, and amidst the flux and the beautiful flurries,
I must continue to walk close to Him.
First steps first, to gently remove the other things which inhibit and sometimes do cripple me,
I must be faithful to the LORD, in the little things.
But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.
~ Isaiah 40: 31
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
He will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.
~ Psalm 121:7-8, ESV
By His grace, I’m trudging forth, armed with prayer.